Solitude is not loneliness, which is what we feel when we want company around us and don’t have it. Solitude is chosen. It is how we recover the connection with our spirit that we lose in the rush of everyday life. Solitude gives us a breather, taking us away from the chatter, rush, and obligations that sometimes can inundate us. It exists when we spend time with our inner self in a serene place. That may be a place of meditation, a walk in the woods, a retreat we attend, a sudden decision to drive in our car without a specific destination, or sitting somewhere near a body of water. In each of these ways, we can become more connected to the natural world around us, which is eternally present. We can watch leaves blow in the wind on a summer’s day, or waves falling gently on the shore, or visit a museum in the city on a rainy afternoon.
Solitude gives us a chance to know silence, which may be a healer of worry and stress. For a little while, we are not responsible for other people and obligations – only to ourselves.
Certain locations lend themselves to giving us the peace of solitude in very different ways. In the suggestions here, see which ones appeal to you most. The ones you choose will be the places that bring you the best experience because your spirit, your inner self, is already aligned with them.
In Europe, there are hundreds of abbey ruins. Either because of invaders or by a king’s decree, the monasteries of the past were constantly looted and destroyed. What was left were shells of stone buildings. And yet now, walking through those ruins, being with your solitude, you see the grass is green, flowers have grown on the banks of streams nearby, and the stones themselves seem to hold some ancient wisdom.
An hour spent wandering through such an abbey on your own rests the spirit and stops the incessant stream of thoughts. Instead, time seems to expand. Such places have an incredible and unique atmosphere. It’s nice to walk alone, enjoying the views of the city. Abbeys are one the most suitable areas to be alone with your thoughts, taking pleasure in the solitude.
One such abbey is in the U.K. – Whitby, in North Yorkshire. This site was a great learning site in the Anglo-Saxon era and had a superb library. The stones have survived Viking marauders and the Dissolution by Henry VIII. Being there on a windswept hill, you sense its history and also feel its utter peacefulness during your solitude vacation.
2. By the Sea
Especially on a foggy or overcast day, when few people are likely to be out and about, a walk along the seashore can restore you both physically and emotionally. The negative ions surrounding you from the waves crashing on the shore will improve your mood, alleviate stress, and erase anger. We are largely made of H2O, and we respond to its presence in the form of the sea (or a lake, or a running creek, or a river). Being alone gives you a chance to receive the sound of the sea, feel the sand under your feet, watch gulls in flight, and sit on rocks near tidal pools. You let yourself just sense you are a part of it all.
Lombok Island, Indonesia, is one of such secluded beaches. A small piece of land amid a vast ocean, a developing tourist system, real jungles, and coral reefs attract solo travelers who want to enjoy solitude. The beach is not just free from tourists. Its length is almost 80 kilometers, so you can definitely take pleasure in your solitude vacation.
Another amazingly beautiful beach is in the Canary Islands, hidden among several rocks. The road to it leads through a picturesque gorge on the island of the same name. It is much quieter and more deserted here than on other beaches. Most often, the seashore is chosen by those who want to relax and enjoy solitude.
The desert offers a stark contrast, its dry air and hot sands a far cry from the relaxing sound of the sea. But it also holds something eternal in it. Spending time in stillness is how the desert speaks to the spirit.
One place famous for this and which cultivates solitude in gratifying ways is the Painted Desert of Arizona. The most beautiful colored hills stretch along the Little Colorado River and form an incredibly fascinating landscape. This dessert is part of the famous Grand Canyon and Petrified Trees National Park. There is an instant awareness of their age, for over 250 million years of geology are recorded in their strata.
When you stop and get out of your car, you can see the terrain for miles and imagine it is a planet created before humans settled on it. There is an absolute solitude and yet a feeling of profound connection to the earth.
More: 10 Places to Visit That You’ve Never Heard of
Walking in a vineyard in the morning, gazing down at the sloping hills on which the grapevines are set, is one of the most peaceful experiences. Roaming through the paths when no one is around in the early hours brings a feeling of being out of time. When the early fog lifts, it leaves tendrils among the paths like wood smoke. Solitude lovers will certainly love it.
The Antinori family is the oldest and perhaps one of the largest wineries in Italy. Antinori produced their first wine in 1385 and became famous in 1971. The panoramic terrace on the 1st and 2nd floors overlook the young vineyards descending from the hill.
On the winery’s roof is a restaurant named after the great-grandfather and founder of the Antinori dynasty – Rinuccio 1180. The restaurant is open only until 16:00. Besides tasting, maybe, the best wine in the whole world, it’s also a fascinating possibility to catch time alone and enjoy the solitude vacation.
The labyrinth is one of the oldest forms of meditation, and there is evidence in almost every culture. It is intended for solitary contemplation.
Unlike a maze, where people may get lost, the labyrinth has a specific purpose. As you walk along the single spiral path inward to the center, you shed the troubles, worries, and most of all, distractions that occupy you. Then, when you turn around at the center and retrace the spiral path out again, you feel renewed and free of a burden, often one you didn’t know you carried. Entering a labyrinth is not difficult – there is one in almost every city, and you are able to even make your own in your own backyard by creating a spiral path bordering it with plants or colorful stones.
Lands End Labyrinth is one of the most famous stone labyrinths. It’s located not far from San Francisco. From here, you get stunning photos: you can see the Golden Gate Bridge, the coast, Angel Island, and the skyline of San Francisco. Spiritual seekers and labyrinth lovers from all over the world know this labyrinth as a place of unsurpassed beauty and tranquility, where they can take pleasure in solitude while traveling alone.
6. Camping in the Wilderness
The kind of camping described here that encourages solitude is plain camping – that is, not in an R.V. It means setting up a tent, making your own campfire, and bringing along a sleeping bag and supplies. It doesn’t mean you have to be far away from civilization – just far enough that you can’t hear traffic on the road nearby or the sound of outboards on a lake.
There are locations, for example, in the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York that encourage wilderness camping. A pearl light lingers over these hills after the sun sets. The air is clean and lends a feeling of enchantment, enhanced by waterfalls and secluded glens. You are in the peaceful natural world, and it is a place where we can always experience a calm spirit. Other places abound for this kind of experience, like the Shenandoah Mountains of Virginia or the Haleakala National Park in Hawaii. In Australia, you can spend time camping in the Blue Mountains during the solitude vacation.
Another area that all solitude seekers appreciate due to its excellent possibility for camping in the USA is Crater Lake National Park. It is known as the deepest lake in the U.S. and one of the most pristine on the planet. There is everything you need for campers – comfortable areas for tents, places for biking, and opportunities for remote recreation. Crater Lake has inspired artists, photographers, and tourists, who have wanted to enjoy a secluded vacation for hundreds of years. There are two camps in this national park in the forests south of the lake. However, because of the snowy winter here, the most convenient times for an outing camp are only from mid-July to September.
7. Botanical Gardens
Most botanical gardens are very accessible and welcoming to seekers of Solitude. Benches are scattered throughout, and you can sit down and gaze at the trees and plants and feel as if you could sit there forever. Such places can be appealing even in winter for walks. In any season, you have plenty of space for wandering through the wild gardens and cultivated landscapes. The Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden in Claremont, California, and the Zilker Botanical Garden in Austin, Texas, are just two jewels among a multitude available. Find one near you and spend just a half hour there – it often feels like you’ve had a mini solitude vacation.
Ryan-Ji is a unique garden with its harmonic atmosphere, the most suitable place for walking alone. It is one of the most famous attractions in Kyoto and is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. On the garden’s territory, there are 15 black stones, organized into five groups. Moss is planted around each, and gravel is neatly laid out. This place for taking pleasure in feeling solitude is believed that you are able to fully observe all the stones only by soaring over the garden, and only those who have achieved enlightenment will succeed. This garden is not about plants but authentic Japanese culture, contemplation, and peace for feeling solitude.
More: 10 Most Beautiful Botanical Gardens in the World
8. That Ubiquitous South Sea Island
Who hasn’t contemplated spending time – maybe a long time! – on a tropical Isle? The Maldives is one such place with seriously gorgeous sandy beaches and miles to walk on, and no one is likely to disturb you – there are over a thousand islands to choose from!
Cocoa Island is a small private island in the Maldives. It is maybe a perfect destination for real solitude lovers, where you can definitely hide from everything and everyone, but at the same time not travel like a savage. Here you will find tiny houses right on the water, spa treatments, yacht trips, and other entertainment, taking pleasure in breathtakingly beautiful views and getting the best from your solitude vacation.
This selection may seem strange, but a walk on a spring day through an old cemetery is extremely peaceful. We assure you that not too many people will be roaming around, but you can observe the birds that frequent the trees and often see azalea bushes.
Birds sing among the riot of greenery and monuments, where the atmosphere of eternity and tranquility reigns. Even if the cemetery is located in the center of a noisy city and is surrounded by noisy highways with an endless stream of motor vehicles, the calm and grandeur of the old cemetery do not change from this.
One such cemetery that is very beautiful is the Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia. But an everyday cemetery near a local church will bring the same peaceful quality.
10 Japanese Garden
This is a place deliberately designed and intended for the experience of Solitude and serenity. There are always features that include the sound of falling water, bridges across ponds, flowers alongside paths, and the annual festival of cherry trees in bloom. The Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, created in 1894, also has a ceremonial teahouse. Silence in such a garden brings precious solace to the heart and mind.
The Japanese Tea Garden could be called the city’s most comfortable and peaceful place if not for its increased popularity in recent years and a large number of tourists visiting the garden, especially on weekends. That is why the Japanese Tea Garden should be visited, avoiding the most popular tourist days and the time of the day – the least people visit the Japanese Tea Garden in the morning to take pleasure in seclusion, walking alone with their thoughts.
11. An Island in the Aegean
Another place for enjoying solitude is Hora, in Folegandros. It is the capital of the island, and is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the Aegean. This town is the one you often see on posters showing brilliant white buildings and blue-trimmed roofs and windows, with a cobalt blue sea stretching beyond the houses that are built on steep streets. Such a place helps you become aware of life in the present moment, free of inner chatter.
Hora, in Folegandros, is a stunning place. One part of the city is located inside the fortress, and the city itself stands on the edge of a cliff. From the observation deck of Punta Square, a breathtaking view of the abyss opens up. This is a breathtaking place to feel harmony with nature, especially if you do it in pleasant solitude.
12. Four Places in the City
If getting out into nature isn’t possible, yet you feel the need for respite and want to escape the rush, every city has places that encourage ways to experience Solitude and refresh your spirit. These can be as simple as:
A visit to a museum on a rainy day is an excellent idea to enjoy solitude. While the rain comes down outside, you can wander slowly through the rooms looking at the art, not even studying it unless it catches your interest, just relaxing in the silence.
Visiting the museum alone has many advantages over doing it in other people’s company. For example, being in museums alone, inspiration or even strength will inevitably come to you to create something of your own. In addition, if you can hardly stand Solitude, then the museum is the perfect place to practice and discover how important and valuable it is for us to be alone with ourselves.
If the city has a river, it will have pedestrian bridges where you can stand and watch the sky and water or ships passing below. Even with the sound of traffic, you feel like you’re in your own space.
It’s a beautiful place to think about life and the world, even surrounded by strangers. So, devote some of your time to reflection, sitting on the bench of the city’s waterfront. Delve into the essence of things, think about life, about your past, present, and future goals, taking pleasure in your solitude at the same time.
Some cities have parks that allow horseback riding along wooded trails. Bike riding will do just as well. Both give you time in your inner world. Reading books in the park at any time of the day is especially exciting to enjoy solitude.
Many alcoves and small green parks have been created beside business offices. Some areas in a city are set aside for people to stop and take a little time off. These are open spaces and sometimes have a small waterfall or fountain. Solitude seekers will be precisely satisfied with such areas.
More: 10 Amazingly Beautiful Fountains around the World
Where to find solitude?
It is best to find solitude with yourself in nature, being surrounded by birds singing, plants, and fresh air. The most suitable places for it are Mount Shuksan, Phobjikha Valley, and Maya Bay, as well as parks, and gardens, where you can walk around aimlessly. No one will distract you from enjoying nature and being alone with your thoughts there.
What is a good place to travel to alone?
The friendliest of the rainy cities in America, Seattle, is a gray, measured, real metropolis where it is almost impossible to meet crowds of people. This is a city of millionaires who are not accustomed to spending time idly. For solo travelers, Seattle is an excellent choice: here, the charm of small towns meets the power of huge cities. In addition, it is worth noting the high level of security.
Where do introverts go on vacation?
Undredal in Norway is the best place for introverts’ vacations. About 100 people live in this village in the municipality of Arlanda, but tourists are not uncommon here. Nevertheless, it will be very comfortable for the introvert. Here you can relax from the city noise, enjoy stunning views of the Aurlandsfjord, and also try the local cuisine. Undredal is famous for its ancient tradition of white and brown goat cheese.
What can you do on a solo trip?
Hiking is an excellent outdoor activity on a solo trip. Hiking in places like the Alps, the Carpathians, and the numerous mountains in Georgia, Montenegro, Nepal, and India is a sure way to enjoy nature. Moreover, you will have more opportunities to immerse yourself in nature, spend some time with yourself and learn about the fascinating wildlife and landscapes.
Do you have a place you go when you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, somewhere you can feel solitude and its inevitable peacefulness? Do you sometimes let go of your material connection to the world for a little while?